More than 600 people still stranded in Taiwan, 3 days after earthquake that killed at least 12

Tokyo, 06 April, /AJMEDIA/

Rescuers were planning to bring in heavy equipment on Saturday to try to recover two bodies buried under boulders on a hiking trail, three days after Taiwan’s strongest earthquake in 25 years.

Four more people remain missing on the same Shakadang Trail in Taroko National Park, famed for its rugged mountainous terrain. Search and recovery work was set to resume, after being called off Friday afternoon because of aftershocks.

At least 12 people were killed by the magnitude 7.4 earthquake that struck Wednesday morning off Taiwan’s east coast, and 10 others were still missing.

More than 600 people, including about 450 at a hotel in the Taroko park, remained stranded in various locations cut off by rockslides and other damage.

Survivors have told harrowing tales of rocks tumbling onto roadways, trapping them in tunnels until rescuers arrived to free them. In the city of Hualien, a building left tilting over a street at a precarious angle was being carefully torn down.

The relatively low number of deaths from such a powerful quake has been attributed to strict construction standards and widespread public education campaigns on the earthquake-prone island.

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck in 1999 killed 2,400 people.

The two dead and four missing on Shakadang Trail include a family of five. The trapped bodies found on Friday were a man and a woman, but they have not been identified, according to Taiwanese media reports.

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